This post may contain affiliate links. Buying something through these links doesn't cost you anything and helps support Know Prepare Survive. For some light reading, check out our affiliate disclosure.
USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD
- Three membership levels
- You can choose your own attorney
- High criminal and civil defense attorney coverage
- Up-front payout
- Covers all legal self-defense weapons and situations
- The extra training info drives up the price
- On the more expensive side
- Doesn't cover incidents in every state
- Many e-mails
The concepts of prepping and self defense involve becoming prepared for hideous situations you want to avoid.
If you’re going to conceal carry a firearm then you want to know how to handle a self-defense incident. This is a good idea even if you don’t want to carry a weapon and just keep a baseball bat by your bed.
You also need to prepare for the aftermath.
No matter how legally you are in the right when you defend yourself, practicing self defense opens you up to civil and criminal charges.
You need to be prepared to defend yourself in court, potentially for weeks.
Can you support your family for weeks while spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees?
This is why many people buy self-defense insurance.
USCCA claims to offer the best self-defense insurance in the United States.
Does their claim match reality?
Related: Do you need CCW Insurance?
How Does the USCCA Work?
USCCA stands for “United States Concealed Carry Association.” The organization offers almost-nationwide concealed-carry-related insurance through its Self-Defense SHIELD organization.
The United States Concealed Carry Association is not just an insurance agency. USCCA membership provides you USCCA’s insurance program as well as a subscription to a self-defense magazine and many, many educational materials.
You join the association and pay a monthly fee.
In exchange, you get access to all of USCCA’s resources, including a 24/7 hotline called the Critical Response Team.
Technically, you aren’t underwritten by USCCA. Instead, USCCA has the insurance coverage and you are a beneficiary.
It works out similarly but allows for coverage in more states than if you were directly covered.
The USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD protection covers civil defense fees and damages (see how USCCA compares to US Law Shield and CCW Safe).
It also covers criminal defense, providing money for a bail bond and an attorney before the suit starts to hit your pocketbook. This is great because you don’t have to foot the bill, go into debt, and then get reimbursed after you’ve been financially ruined.
Sometime before 2017 USCCA only reimbursed these expenses. Nowadays, however, you get the money before you need to spend it, a welcome change!
You also get access to a team of experts to help guide you after an incident at any time of day or night.
You can choose your own criminal defense attorney and defend yourself with any legal self-defense weapon, not just a handgun!
That’s because USCCA, despite the name, is good for all types of self defense. No permit necessary!
USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD also provides the resources you need to deal with self-defense-related situations such as dealing with Red Flag laws and restoration of gun rights.
And, when you’re in court, you’ll receiver $750 per day to cover lost wages. No other company compensates this much.
When you sign up for USCCA Self-Defense Shield, you not only get insurance coverage but you also get a USCCA Confidence Carry Kit. This includes:
- Membership card with instructions on what to do after a self-defense situation
- Self-defense quick reference guide
- Info on how to access your digital benefits
- A personal welcome letter
Your benefits also cover personal hardship expenses such as replacing your gun the police confiscated and “lost” as well as crime scene cleanup fees and even therapeutic counseling.
This last point is important. Defending yourself may cause psychological scars that can last for years without proper help.
Your membership includes these benefits in addition to the insurance coverage:
- Concealed Carry Magazine subscription
- Exclusive entry to the Concealed Carry Expo
- Membership-only discounts on concealed carry gear
- Online training library with text and video media
Higher membership tiers give you more of these benefits. For example, Gold members can access any digital magazines from the past year while Elite members have access to the entire archive!
The magazine, which comes out eight times per year, is a fine source of information. It’s not the best magazine but is still worth a read.
All of the online content is good, too, though you’ll need to jump for one of the higher membership levels for some of the more interesting information.
For example, learning how to stop bleeding is only available at the maximum level.
So, how much will that put you back?
How Much Does USCCA Cost?
USCCA membership has three coverage levels.
Gold Membership costs $22 a month, Platinum costs $30 a month, and Elite costs $47 a month.
USCCA covers the same legal issues regardless of your membership level. No matter how much you pay, you’ll have the same types of fees covered, so you don’t have to feel bad about not paying more money.
However, the amount of money you’re entitled to for legal protection depends on the membership level:
- Civil Defense & Damages: $500,000
- Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding, & Attorney Retainer: $100,000
- Civil Defense & Damages: $1,000,000
- Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding, & Attorney Retainer: $150,000
- Civil Defense & Damages: $2,000,000
- Criminal Defense, Bail Bond Funding, & Attorney Retainer: $250,000
What Does USCCA Cover?
USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD insurance covers the following
- Civil Defense
- Civil Damages
- Criminal Defense Attorney
- Firearm and Non-Firearm Self-Defense Weapon Usage
- Your Spouse (Inside your home)
- Incidents in Gun-Free Zones
- Firearm Theft Liability
- Weapon Replacement & Personal Hardship Expenses, up to $6,000
- Psychological Support, up to $6,000
What Does USCCA Not Cover?
- Not available in New York, New Jersey, and Washington State
- Your spouse and family outside your home are not covered (though you can pay more to add your spouse)
So, I read as much as I could about USCCA while pursuing my concealed carry license, and what I read from people who had been members of USCCA scared me at first.
There’s talk out there about USCCA being a fear-mongering organization with lackluster compensation.
However, those reviews are all from the early twenty-tens.
The organization turned its writing style and coverage pay-out around and went from being one of the worst CCW insurance options to one of the best.
If you read any user testimonials from the past few years, everyone agrees that USCCA’s Self-Defense SHIELD is one of, if not the best choice of self-defense insurance available today.
USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD is a great concealed carry and self-defense insurance option, but it’s not the only option available.
Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network
Armed Citizens LDN is not a traditional insurance organization. It’s a network of attorneys and firearm experts, including the legendary Massad Ayoob, who maintain a fund you pay into that covers self-defense-related legal expenses and provides resources.
25% of your membership dues are put into this defense fund.
So, the Armed Citizens LDN is more like a credit union or worker’s co-op than the other concealed carry insurance options.
Membership in the network also includes pre- and post-incident education. You’ll also get a 235-page book to help educate you on what to do in case you need to protect yourself.
Your first year costs $135. All subsequent years cost $95 each. You can add a family member for $60 per year.
This puts ACLDN in the low-cost category when it comes to this type of legal defense.
Also, if you want to commit to a longer period of time, then you can pay for a 3-year membership for $295. That’s only $31 more than one year of USCCA Self-Defense Shield at the lowest tier!
And, if you buy a 10-year membership in the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, it will only cost you $790. That’s a mere $6.58 a month!
Armed Citizens LDN and USCCA’s differences include:
- Costs $135 for the first year and $95 every year after
- $25,000 instead of $50,000 bail bond coverage
- Only $25,000 civil or criminal defense coverage, though more may come after a board review
- No post-incident support
The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network is a great budget option for people who want legal assistance, but it isn’t full-on insurance. If you’re interested, check it out here!
CCW Safe is a more traditional CCW insurance option.
It’s more expensive than the other options. The main plan costs $499 a year, which is $2 more per year than the most expensive USCCA membership level, and doesn’t include any of the training resources.
What you do get, however, is the highest coverage levels available. CCW Safe will cover up to $1,000,000 bail and $1,00,000 in civil damages.
And criminal or civil defense?
You get access to a 24-hour expert hotline, like USCCA. CCW Safe also covers investigator fees and expert witnesses for your defense.
The insurance will also cover any appeals you need to make. It will even replace your firearm, pay for up to 40 therapy sessions, and will cover up to $3,000 in crime scene clean up fees.
The main plan requires a concealed carry permit. There are several other plans for less monthly, such as the Law Enforcement Officer plan, Constitutional Carry Plan, and Home Defense Plan.
However, these plans are all more restrictive in who can qualify and what they cover.
Compared with USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD, CCW Safe:
- Requires a concealed carry permit
- Has high or no caps to payments
- Only offers insurance and incident-related coverage
CCW Safe is a little more expensive than USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD. However, if you want the maximum insurance level with no caps on defense court fees, click here for more information!
US LawShield is connected to Texas LawShield, where this insurance company got its start. The company is often called US & Texas LawShield.
US LawShield has a $19.95 setup fee and costs $10.95 per adult for every month after the first. This makes it a more budget option than most concealed carry insurance companies.
What people like about US & Texas LawShield is that you can pay for the minimum coverage (which still has unlimited attorney fees for criminal and civil defense) and you can add additional protections if you wish.
Want to add identity theft coverage? You can do that.
Want protection for when you’re out-of-state? $2.95 per person per month, and it gives you coverage in all 50 states.
Note, though, that citizens of Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, and New York cannot get US & Texas LawShield coverage.
Expert witness testimony, bail bond coverage, and hunting insurance are additional expenses.
As it turns out, US LawShield’s coverage does not cover lost wages or provide living expense money while you’re in court.
It doesn’t offer personal hardship coverage or psychological counseling either.
US & Texas LawShield:
- Chooses your defense attorney
- Can provide identity theft protection
- Has no limit to defense coverage
- Protects you in the event of a negligent discharge
- Offers coverage in all states
- Offers granular upgrades to your insurance so you don’t pay for benefits you do not need
- Does not cover lost wages or provide psychological support
US & Texas LawShield is not available everywhere. However, it is a good source of insurance for those who can get this insurance, and you can add additional options to your plan if you wish; though, the costs will add up!
If this interests, you, click here to learn more!
Should You Get USCCA CCW Insurance?
USCCA has industry-leading concealed carry insurance.
However, it comes with a lot of extra material in addition to the insurance that’s a bit overbearing for some folks.
If you want to combine insurance with training materials, holster and apparel recommendations, and a bunch of other stuff, then USCCA is a good choice for you.
USCCA is also good if you want nationwide insurance because they cover so many states.
However, all you want is insurance and prefer not to pay an extra dollar or two per month for the other benefits then I’d take a look at the alternatives.
Everyone who is prepared to defend their family should also be prepared to deal with the legal aftermath.
You don’t have to buy insurance for this.
You can save money in a fund and grow a relationship with a criminal defense attorney.
However, the USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD program doesn’t cost that much compared to a court case. If you do have to tap into the insurance to pay a defense attorney, you will be saving money!
USCCA’s insurance isn’t for everyone.
If you don’t want the ancillary materials, such as training videos and magazine subscription, then you can save money by buying insurance from an alternative source.
However, if you want a membership that gets you a massive amount of educational material and also covers your legal defense fees, then USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD is an excellent choice.